May 26, 2007
Cleaner cement for Dallas

Very cool.

The Dallas City Council voted late Wednesday to direct construction contractors to include the price of dry kiln-processed cement in their bid packages to the city. Cement produced in dry kilns generally produces less pollution than traditional wet kilns.

"This is a giant step forward for us to tackle our [nitrous oxide] problem. It's going to be the beginning of a national trend," Dallas Mayor Laura Miller said. "We can start buying from clean plants and make it an incentive for businesses to operate and build clean plants that we'll buy from."

The city staff will spend the next several weeks crafting rules for cement purchasing, said Mark Duebner, Dallas' director of business development and procurement.

Mr. Duebner estimates the city has 150 to 200 construction bids a year that would be affected by the change.


The mayor added that she'll urge cities involved in the Texas Cities for Clean Air Coalition - which has fought for the last year to prevent TXU Corp. from building new, traditional-style coal-fired power plants - to adopt similar cement-purchasing practices.

"We'll start to reach out to other cities soon to see if they're interested in joining us," Mr. Duebner said.

That coalition includes Houston. I look forward to hearing that we are following Dallas' lead on this.

One more thing:

Cement companies in nearby Midlothian could most be affected by the rule change, particularly Texas Industries, which uses one dry kiln among its five.

If this nudges the notoriously noxious Midlothian plants to change how they do business, that will exponentially increase the benefits of this plan. Here's hoping.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 26, 2007 to The great state of Texas